At least six cargo planes of Azerbaijani carrier Silk Way Airlines transported advanced weapons from Israel Air Force's Ovda base to Baku between September 1 and September 17, "The Associated Press" reports. Using the weapons from these flights, Azerbaijan was able to launch its operation to recapture the Nagorno-Karabakh region and resolve its more than 30-year old conflict with Armenia.
"For us, it is a major concern that Israeli weapons have been firing at our people," Arman Akopian, Armenia’s ambassador to Israel, told AP.
The report says that in the September operation more than 200 Armenians were killed, most of them soldiers. As it happens, Armenia has become a close regional ally of Iran and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is a close friend of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. For its part Azerbaijan has become Israel's closest friend in the Muslim world and supplies Israel with 40% of its oil.
AP reports that more than 1,000 Armenians fled the Nagorno-Karabakh region during the fighting, although Azerbaijan called on the Armenians to remain and take up Azerbaijani citizenship.
Israel's military cooperation with Azerbaijan began many years ago and has been key in Baku's battle to retake Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia. Amongst other things Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Harop loitering munitions and LORA missiles greatly contributed to Azerbaijan's victory.
In recent years, trade between Israel and Azerbaijan has been expanding, amounted to $1.718 billion in 2022. Since then the momentum has continued as this week's sale of two IAI satellites - a surveillance satellite and communication satellite - demonstrates.
Demonstration of Israeli power at Baku exhibition
This week Israel is presenting the best of its products as part of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2023 exhibition in Baku. The Israel Space Agency and IAI are taking part, and the inauguration ceremony of the Israeli pavilion was attended by, among others, IAI president and CEO Boaz Levy and the Deputy Ambassador of Israel In Baku Yoav Bistritzky At the same time, IAI signed an agreement on Tuesday with the Azerbaijan space agency Azercosmos for the sale of two OptSat500 satellites, which according to a report in Azerbaijan is worth $120 million.
In addition to OptSat500, which simultaneously captures SAR images and electro-optical images, IAI is exhibiting TecSAR XP, a satellite with high agility and high-quality imaging capability. Among other advanced satellites, IAI is presenting the MCS communication satellite, and the OptSat3000 electro-optical satellite.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 5, 2023.
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.